Rollercoaster Mum: Family Friendly Holidays with the kids 3 - Glamping in a Yurt in Cornwall


Friday, 12 July 2013

Family Friendly Holidays with the kids 3 - Glamping in a Yurt in Cornwall

I'll come right out and say it - I don't really like camping. We have tried it a couple of times and even if you take out the rain and the wind, it's just too much like hard work. Trekking across a field to go for a wee, trekking through the mud to do the washing up and even just putting the tent up and down. I know kids like it but really, it's not much of a holiday is it?

Glamping however rather appeals - I have always wanted to try staying in a yurt (it's a kind of large round tent,originally from Mongolia) and the glamping ones often have wooden floors, real beds and even wood burning stoves. Now when Rollercoaster Dad discovered that there would be an extra day of bank holidays last year over the Jubilee he booked some time off pronto and so the next question was where to go? We have relatives in Cornwall whom we hadn't seen in a while so we decided we should go West for a week. The relatives for one reason and another cannot really accommodate us so where to stay. We ruled out camping - the last time we had camped in Cornwall it had been August and it had pissed it down. We came home a day early - 'nuff said. We looked at caravans and lodges and then I found a great sounding place not too far from my relatives and my favourite Cornish beach and they had gorgeous looking yurts. Before you could say 'Jack Robinson' I had booked a yurt at Pencuke Farm.

Glamping in a Yurt
The gorgeously comfortable yurts at Pencuke Farm
After a long drive we had a great welcome from our hosts Chris and Kate (although we didn't see much of Kate as she was literally about to pop with her second child and Chris warned us that they might have to disappear at any minute). There was great little shop which stocked all the essentials and more - most of the products are either grown or made on the farm or are sourced locally. It is based on an honesty book system so you can still get your milk even if there is nobody around.

Chris showed us the camping barn which is a fabulous facility for the campers and yurters. There is a large kitchen with 2 sinks where you can do your washing up, a microwave - handy for heating up those baby bottles and a freezer for ice packs (for those cool boxes). There is also a big table where you can all get to together if you are travelling in a big group and a pool table, games and books to borrow. It's a great space to shelter from the rain and wind if nothing else! (And yes it did rain and boy, did the wind blow - more of that later). Also in the barn are the very large and luxurious showers and loos - no crowding around in a tiny shower whilst all your clothes get wet and the wellies make the shower dirty. There is plenty of space for clothes and wellies and indeed whole families in the showers - and the best bit - when you step out of the shower room you are still inside the barn so it's warm- fabulous! Oh and I nearly forgot the wonderful soap/shower gel provided that is made by a local firm - St. Kitt's Herbery - it smelt so fabulous I had to restrain myself from washing my hands!
Cornish cream tea with Helsett clotted cream
Devouring our scrummy cream tea
Finally we got to see our yurt - tucked away in a corner and sheltered by hedges it was a perfect spot. Our yurt (they have 5 I think) was called Duckpool which apparently is a local beach. The yurt was everything I had imagined it to be and more. There was an enormous double bed with gorgeously comfy pillows and duvet and a Welsh blanket to snuggle up in and underneath this were tucked two little truckle beds for the girls. All the linen, duvets and pillows are provided too. There was also a big chest of drawers to stash your clothes, a table and four chairs so you could have a civilised meal or just somewhere for the girls to do some colouring and even two futons to sit on and relax or for two more people to stay. There was a large wood-burning stove which Chris showed us how to use and a little kitchen unit with a two burner camping stove and all the pots, pans and cutlery you would need. A large cool box is provided and you can change the freezer blocks from the freezer when necessary. The little touches like a coat stand for your coats, the Welsh blankets, cushions and pictures on the walls all made it wonderfully homely. That and a gorgeous cream tea with homemade scones, jam and of course Cornish Clotted Cream from Helsett Farm (another organic local producer that also makes the best ice-cream) made us feel settled straight away.

After we had scoffed our cream tea we headed to Bude to stock up on some food in Sainburys and the rain started so as soon as we got back we lit the wood-burner - can't do that in a tent can you?! Even the wood is provided if you are staying in a yurt so we could stay cosy all night long. It was fab - the girls went to sleep without much fuss because it was lovely and comfy and we sat and read by the light of the lanterns and torches before falling asleep in our huge bed - comfortable yet still in touch with nature as you could hear the rain on the roof and see the sky through the skylight.
It did get a bit chilly but we were cosy and warm!
Speaking of rain and wind, you may remember the weather last year for the Jubilee - yes it was that week. I was sooo glad we were not in a tent. I'm pretty sure we would have headed home if we had been! One night in particular there was warnings of gales and Chris came round to make sure we were all OK. He reassured us that it might be noisy but the yurts should be fine and if we were really worried to go and sleep in the barn. It was very noisy and a little scary but the yurt was fine. The girls slept through it all and although I kept waking up we all stayed dry and warm.
Crackington Haven beach
Crackington Haven - possibly the best beach in the world!

The tropical biome, the Eden Project
A grand day out at the Eden Project
Aside from visiting our relatives we also manged to spend the one and only sunny day on the nearby beach of Crackington Haven which is a cracking little beach!! I have fond memories of days spent here as a child and it did not disappoint - great sand for sandcastles, perfect pools for rockpooling and a fabulous view from the cliffs. We also had a day at the Eden Project (which was fab but check out deals for tickets like Tescos clubcard as it is pricey to get in), an afternoon pottering around Boscastle (famous for it's witches museum and the flood a few years ago) and a very very windy walk on the big sandy beach at Bude. There is of course tons of things to do in North Cornwall and the scenery is spectacular.

Yurt sunset
What a beautiful spot

cooking on the fire-pit
Cooking over the fire-pit - we only managed this once! 
There is even stuff to do on the farm. You are welcome to wander around and check out the ponies, sheep, chickens and pigs and they have made a great little trail around the farm which takes you right down into the valley and back up. The first time we did this we were joined by Spencer the Beagle who is so famous he even has his own facebook page!  Little Miss Sunshine fell in love with him at once and he visited our yurt several times - especially after he got half a burger from her on the one time it was nice enough to use the fire pit and have a barbecue. I nearly forgot to mention these! As well as normal BBQ's outside the barn there are 2 or 3 firepits dotted around the yurts and you are welcome to use these and some have tripod/barbecue type things over them so not only can you have a camp fire you can cook on it - fab!

greedy beagle!
Spencer the Beagle - our new best friend! 
We truly had a great time at Pencuke Farm and I cannot recommend them highly enough. The yurts are wonderful, making you feel like you are camping and yet with all the creature comforts at the same time. The girls loved the freedom of the farm and the camp fires and of course the whole place is in a beautiful peaceful spot in North Cornwall. What more could you ask for - well actually just some decent weather - as usual whenever we visit Cornwall the weather was truly rubbish but we still had a fandabulous time.

Disclosure - I was in no way compensated or paid for this post. I have written this review purely because I wanted to.


  1. Looks like a fabulous place for a holiday! I dream of staying in a yurt one day!! But this year we have all the camping gear and have a couple of trips booked. Praying the weather holds in August!

  2. Wow, that looks like the perfect holiday to me! As you say, camping can be a pain in the you know where...putting the tent up and down is dreadful. This is the perfect solution...everything there for you, but fresh air to enjoy too!


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